Kids Bikes – Jason’s 26er and Polina’s 24er

It’s time to post a little write up on two recent frames that I built for my kids. My son is 11 years old and my daughter is 9, and it was time to upgrade their rides so we can ride together on our local mtb/gravel trails. They both participated in the design of their bikes, including color selection of the frame, racks and frame bags. Thanks to Andrew from ATM Handmade Goods for designing the frame bags for their bikes.

My son got 26er mtb from our Hunchback line with long seat stays and bent top tube, and my daughter – 24er Troika with curvy frame lines. Both builds are set up with Shimano XT drivetrains, Velocity wheelsets, hydraulic disk brakes and powdercoat finish.

Jason's 26er

Polina's 24er

Recent Builds – Fat and Road Bikes

Fat Bike, Impaler
This bike was built with twin top tube, custom segmented fork, and custom rear and front racks. Impaler is a theme bike that was exhibited at Philly Bike Expo in November last year. The frame’s front rack was shaped like a spear, to give the entire bike the look of Vlad the Impaler.

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The Impaler bike was built as an all terrain type of fat-bike and this particular build has the following:
•curved twin top tube/stays and seat tube
•short 16.7″ chain stays
•177/12mm trough axle dropouts
•custom steel segmented 142/15mm through axle fork
Velocity Dually rims with I9 hubs and 4.0 Veerubber Mission tires, tubeless
Shimano XT 11speed/Raceface 30t ring drivetrain and cockpit components
•Powder coat finish
•Custom frame bag made by ATM Handmade Goods.

-Road Bike, Troika:
We exhibited this bike at Philly Bike Expo last year as well, and this roady was built for a college student from Seton Hall University.

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Stan’s Steel Dirt Road Bike

Stan is practically my neighbor and our kids go to school together.  He told me that he used to ride a lot and wanted to start riding again.  We talked about the benefits of custom frame versus mass-produced frames and different types of frame materials that are utilized in the bicycle construction such as steel, aluminum, carbon fiber and titanium.  Each of these materials have different characteristics, however, all could be shaped into similar quality ride by a frame builder.  The major thing to consider here is the price of the material, its weight and durability as well as geometry and proper fit of the bike.  Also, wheels play major part on how the bike feels and rides.  Although, steel is “real” and steel frames offer the best balance of cost, weight and durability as well as its unique more forgiving ride qualities due to properties of the steel, there is no clear choice what frame material is better or worse.

Stan’s bike frame was constructed around the fork (built-in house) geometry with axle to crown measure between cross and road bikes and clearances to accommodate wheels with 34 mm tires.  We used True Temper’s OX Platinum steel tubing and Paragon Machine Works’ dropouts and braze on components to build the frame.  Internal cable routing for derailleurs and brakes housing.

The bike is equipped with Shimano Ultegra 6800 group and hydraulic disc brakes, PRO cockpit components and cyclocross/gravel Rolf Prima ECX disc wheelset with hand-made 30c Challenge Strada Bianca tires.

I am a little behind on this post.  Stan was riding this bike for about three months now and this is what he had to say after his first ride:  “Just tested 22 miles.  Awesome bike.  Runs great.  Need to adjust saddle.  Thank you.  Bike is insane!!!”

Enjoy the photos of the bike and stay tuned for a next post on our dirt fat bike.

Vlad

 

 

 

Rigid 29er/CX Flat Bars Bike

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Cyclocross bike with flat handle bars?  Well, rider wanted a custom frame and fork with Cyclocross geometry, however, no drop bars.  The bike is going to be used half of the time on-road and half of the time off-road, primarily hardpacked dirt.  No long distance rides or bombing down steep mountain hillsides.  In addition, frame required to have lots of stand over, disc brakes and stand out from the crowd.

To achieve above objectives, we fabricated bent top tube and bent wishbone seat stays for extra stand over and desired aesthetics out of 0.035″ aircrcaft 4130 chromium-molybdenum steel alloy tubing.  Down tube, chain stays, head tube and braze-ons were supplied by True Temper, Columbus and Paragon Machine Works.  We prepared the tubes to run internal cable routing for cleaner lines.  As usual, Vicious Cycles did a great paint job on the frame and fork.

Frame was built with CX geometry.  We fabricated steel fork with 395 mm axle to crown measurement and 47mm rake with clearance to run WTB 40c Nano tires.  Currently, bike is equipped with Rolf Ralos XR 29er wheel set and Clement LAS 33mm tires.  Clement LAS tires allows speed on road and hardpacked dirt due to its file tread, and cornering on off-road due its small side lugs.

The bike’s drivetrain is a combination of Shimano CX50 (cyclocross) and Shimano Deore XT 10-speed (mtb) drivetrains.  Shimano CX50 includes crankset, front derailluer and two 46/36t chain rings.  Deore XT parts consist of 10 speed cassette, rear derailluer, shifters and disc hydraulic brakes.

Mission accomplished, and that’s why we do what we do…because we love it!  Thanks for checking in and enjoy the pictures.  Visit Chicagoathlete and Oldglorymtb for more coverage on this bike.

Stay tuned for more on our next Road/Gravel project.

Vlad

 

Oleg’s Cyclocross Bike

Oleg wanted to start cycling after his shoulder injury that made him almost quit one of his favorite sports, volleyball.  He asked me to build him a custom bicycle frame to make sure that the bike will have correct fit considering his past injury.  However, Oleg wasn’t sure what type frame he needed.  So, we started a conversation.  After learning what type of riding he wants to do, I suggested to him to build a Cylclocross (CX) bicycle.  CX bike resembles a road bike, but it has larger clearances for tires that allows to ride off-road, and slightly different frame geometry with a slacker head tube/seat tube angles and fork’s longer axle-to-crown distance.  After taking Oleg’s body measurements and then applying them in Bike CAD Pro, we agreed on the design and I started to work on the project.

I used light-weight True Temper’s OX Platinum steel alloy tubing to build main triangle and Columbus Zona tubing for stays.  His bike has internal routing and equipped with Shimano’s mechanical disc breaks and Shimano CX drivetrain.  In addition, I built for him a custom CX steel fork with True Temper’s fork blades, steerer tube and Paragon dropouts.

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From The Philly Bike Expo 2014

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Hi All,

The Philly Bike Expo was an amazing experience for us!  During two days we met lots of people who were very pleased with our bikes and had to say lots nice words..  We brought to Philly a Road Disk Di2 bike and a Single Speed Mountain bike: Troika Disc Di2Troika SS MTBThe two-day event included about 130 exhibitors, including frame builders, bicycle manufacturers, bike shops, components and tool companies, and cycling apparel companies.

We came to Philly on Friday to set up our table at the Philadelphia Convention Center and then headed to Engine Cycles’ open house to learn more about titanium bicycle fabrication and meet other frame builders.. There we met Drew Guldalian, owner of Engine Cycles; Rody Walter, owner of Groovy Cycleworks and Eric Estlund from Winter Bicycles.  Each of these guys has vast experience in the frame fabrication business and inspirational stories of what it takes to become a successful frame builder.  We finished our day in the nice Japanese restaurant in the Germantown.

Next day, Expo began at 10am and to our surprise people were already heading to the bike show.  The place was busy all day.  Later that day we had a surprise visit of the Troika owner. His custom build was finished and assembled just few hours before we headed to Philly from Boonton, NJ.  He came all the way from San Francisco and loved his bike!  Here is the photo of him checking out his Troika:

Ed and his Troika

Sunday morning we attended Gary Helfrich seminar on Theory and Practice of Titanium Frame Building.  I brought with me my 10-year-old son.  He was the youngest in the audience and did not get excited until the Russian Submarine picture came up on the screen.  The Sub was cut to pieces and sold to manufactures of titanium in China.  Gary is the founder of Merlin and is considered to be an inventor of the titanium bicycle frame.

Below are few photos from the Expo, including group picture of the frame builders and my portrait with Troika as well as photos of other bicycles exhibited at the Expo.  Thanks for reading and Happy Trails!

Vlad

 

Road Race Bike – Gran Fondo NJ

Hi All,

Hope you enjoyed your summer and had your good share of rides and fun.  I’ve been working on the road frame and fork that I wanted to use in the Gran Fondo NJ race, which is coming up next Sunday.  The race starts in Morristown with an amazing route to the Delaware River and back.  It covers 107 miles and has four challenging timed hill climbs with total climbing over 9,100 feet.

The frame and fork are done and bike is completely set up.  I had a twenty mile ride on it and the ride felt perfect.  I used BiceCad Fit advisor to design this frame.  This application allows one to enter rider’s dimensions, which in turn gives an optimal bike size for the rider.  So, every bike is different and is specific for a rider when I build the frame.

I utilized a True Temper, OX Platinum steel tubing for the construction of the front triangle.  This alloy is double butted with tube wall thickness of 0.7-0.4-0.7mm.  In addition, this is an air-hardening steel alloy, meaning it does not lose its strength after applying high heat during TIG welding.

The bike has a lively ride that offers a balance between road feel, stiffness and comfort.  Double-butted tubing dampens some road vibration and offers good feel for the road surface below.  This quality is what leads many riders to experience the sense that a steel bicycle is an extension of the rider.

The frame is TIG welded and has internal routing for shift cables and breaks.  I built a segmented fork with 1″ steerer tube.  The frame is powder coated and has custom Jen Green’s head badge.  I installed a Sram Apex group set with white finish and ten speed drivetrain.

Check out some pictures of the bike and stay tuned for an update on the new Road Disc/Di2 project for my old friend, Dr.  Eduard Burt, DC.  He is an avid cyclist and a great health practitioner.  Take a look at his blog for cyclists on how to lower neck and back pain here.

Vlad

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Dexter’s Single Speed 29er-Black in Black

Another single speed frame was finalized.  Dexter chose to build his frame with Reynolds 853 air-hardening steel tubing and Paragon rockers adjustable dropouts.  The geometry of the bike is suspension corrected.   It will have Fox, 100mm travel, tapered steerer fork.

The frame was powder coated in black matte color by Coast2Coast.  Dexter wanted to have black color frame with black decals.  I was a little skeptical of his choice, but in the end it came out really cool, stealthy looking frame.

Here are few pictures of the frame and a happy customer.  Thanks for checking in!

P.S.

New project, road frame, is in the works for Gran Fondo New Jersey 107 miles race.  Stay tuned!

Vlad

 

Vlad’s Single Speed 29er, part 2

My SS 29er is all done and is back from powder coating ready to shred the trails.  Red and white combination looks pretty awesome!

The next project is already in the works.  Stay tuned and enjoy your summer!

Vlad